Educator Resources

Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtIČ) for English Language Learners

WIDA's guide to RtIČ presents a framework to assist educators in designing and implementing RtIČ systems that proactively support the instruction, intervention, and assessment of ELLs. The document specifically addresses seven factors to consider during the solution-seeking process that help explain ELLs' educational experience. It also provides information on how educators can use WIDA tools and resources to better understand ELLs' academic language development, as this will serve as a context for collecting and interpreting the data they use to make instructional and programmatic decisions within an RtIČ process.

Download Developing a Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Approach to Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtIČ) for English Language Learners PDF icon

For individuals who are thinking about how to introduce the information in the above document and engage a team of educators in the solution-seeking process, the planning form below may offer some guidance for group planning and discussions.

Download the Culturally and Linguistically Responsive RtIČ Planning Form PDF icon

RtIČ for ELLs Webinar

Presented by: Cristina Sanchez-Lopez and Laurie Donnell, the lead developers of the WIDA RtIČ for ELLs document

This interactive webinar presentation addresses considerations for the solution-seeking process to better understand ELLs' academic language development, as this will serve as a context for collecting and interpreting the data they use to make instructional and programmatic decisions within an RtIČ process. Viewers will learn how WIDA tools and resources can be used within an RtIČ framework through viewing real examples from school districts across the consortium.

View Webinar

Focus Bulletins

WIDA offers a series of bulletins on topics of interest to educators of English language learners.

The PDF documents below are archived versions of WIDA's Focus Bulletins, available on a variety of topics related to ELL instruction and assessment.


Focus on Technology in the Classroom (October)

Today, a plethora of educational tech tools exists. It can be overwhelming to determine which may be productive to include in a classroom, which could help ELLs achieve their language goals as well as it can be a bit intimidating to know where to start. In this bulletin, we explore the use of tech tools in the classroom with ELL students and offer a tool to help educators evaluate tech tools for learning and academic language. Also included are excepts from an interview with gaming scholar, Constance Steinkuehler, lessons learned from using technology in the classroom, and suggested steps for getting started or digging deeper.

Extended interview with Constance Steinkueler

Focus on the Early Years - Dual Language Learners (August)

This Bulletin is the first done in collaboration with the WIDA Early Years team. It includes information about young dual language learners (DLLs), the importance of supporting home language, and the value in fostering partnerships with families and K-12 programs. In addition to highlighting the latest research on how to support young DLLs, this bulletin is full of heartwarming quotes from an early care and education program that has had a lot of success supporting young children learning more than one language.

Focus on American Indian English Language Learners (May)

The purpose of this Bulletin is to help educators make connections and provide contexts to deepen an awareness of the complexity and diversity of American Indian students identified as ELLs. To help achieve this objective, several guiding principles are presented that emerged from an interview conducted with Dr. Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy and American Indians Studies Consultant, David O'Connor. In addition to explanations of each guiding principal, a discussion tool is provided that can be used in your local context about how these guiding principles can impact your classroom and guide your instruction.


Focus on English Language Arts (November)

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance to teachers of English language arts who are implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and working to respond to the specific needs of ELLs. It will introduce the ELPD Framework, which outlines key disciplinary practices embedded in the CCSS, thus providing educators with an idea of what their students will be doing with language as they engage with content. The power of focusing on these disciplinary practices rather than on language features (such as specific grammar or vocabulary) is that the practices in many ways determine the kinds of organization, grammar, and vocabulary that students will need to use and understand. Finally, this bulletin unpacks the meaning of one practice, "Build upon the ideas of others and articulate their own when working collaboratively," by looking at one educator's efforts to carefully construct opportunities to encourage participation in discussions and develop all students' oral language skills.

Focus on Language Growth (June)

This is an update to our March 2009 Focus on Growth Bulletin. This edition aims to help educators understand the ACCESS for ELLs Teacher Report, investigate student growth, and use this data to make instructional decisions about student progress in language proficiency. It contains percentile growth charts and discussion questions for examining growth in a team of educators.

Focus on Group Work for Content Learning (March)

Do your students have opportunities to engage in academic conversation? How might collaborative interactions help students meet the U.S. college- and career-readiness standards? How might they help English language learners (ELLs) master the language of the disciplines? What are some promising ways to support group-based learning in your classroom? This Focus Bulletin aims to answer these questions and offers an extensive resource list for further exploration of related strategies and research.


Focus on Differentiation Part 2 (December)

Part 2 of this Bulletin discusses in more detail how the strategies and tools identified for teaching ELLs in Part 1 can be put into practice. Some of these ideas include the use of graphic organizers, the preview-view-review strategy, parental involvement, L1 support, and flexible groupings. Lastly, this Bulletin addresses how educators can fairly evaluate ELLs' performance in both content and language based on the learning objectives identified in Part 1.

Focus on Differentiation Part 1 (May)

This Bulletin provides a useful planning template and step-by-step explanations of how teachers (classroom/content-area, special education, literacy, ESL, bilingual) can differentiate their grade-level content and language instruction and assessment for the ELLs in their classes. Part I focuses on setting content objectives for all students along with differentiated language objectives for ELLs, and explores possible scaffolds and supports for different example students within the context of a particular unit on rainforests.


Focus on Formative Assessment (September)

The September 2009 edition offers an overview of formative assessment of academic language. It discusses the importance of having a balanced assessment system in place for English language learners that goes beyond standardized testing. Educators are given examples of formative assessment tasks and tools, and introduced to how to use assessment feedback to guide language instruction.

Focus on Language and Culture (May)

This issue explores some variables that can affect the academic achievement of English language learners.  Our purpose in exploring these variables is to find areas where we can connect learning and language as we plan and deliver instruction and assessment to our students.  We start with two from a long list of variables: culture and home language, hoping to inspire you to learn more about them through the resources offered in this issue.

Focus on Growth (March)

This issue focuses on measurement of student progress using standardized test scores of English language proficiency. It provides an overview of different types of test scores on ACCESS for ELLs in particular and explains how districts can compare their students' and district's scores to researched patterns of average growth. Graphs of growth at each grade level are included, along with space for teachers and administrators to work on a plan to address the need for continued progress.

Powerpoint presentation on Growth (for use with newsletter as a handout)

Powerpoint handout (3 slides per page with space for notes)